Back on March 31, popular Korean beer brand 'Cass' launched a Twitter campaign asking fans to suggest the brand's next endorsement model.
The campaign stressed that all fans needed to do was create a Tweet convincing enough to make all of Twitter believe that "this idol" is the best fit as the next 'Cass' model. The top 5 nominees would be chosen based off of retweet counts, and afterward, 'Cass' insiders would narrow down the winning idol.
Immediately after the campaign announcement, hardworking fans got to work trying to make their favorite idol or bias the next 2020 'Cass' model! You can see below just how much time and effort fans put into creating their very own campaign images and videos:
Then, on April 6, 'Cass' revealed a realtime ranking list of some of the top nominees based on retweets:
3. #Jo Seung Youn
8. #Song Min Ho
However, what infuriated fans was that in addition to revealing the "current" top 10 rankings, 'Cass' decided to add new criteria in the model selection contest. They included:
1. No individuals with DUI records
2. No individual under age 25
3. No individuals well-known for being "soju-lovers". Only individuals who are well-known for being "beer-lovers"
4. Only individuals who promote healthy drinking
Fans quickly pointed out that according to 'Cass's newly established criteria, many of the top 10 idol nominees including NCT's Jaehyun, Seventeen's DK, Jo Seung Youn, BLACKPINK's Jisoo, BLACKPINK's Jennie, etc would be eliminated from the selection process, as they are under the age of 25. (Other fans noted that the criteria restricting "soju lovers" from being chosen also seemed to refer specifically to NCT's Jaehyun, a well-known "soju lover" among the fandom.)
Shortly afterward, as fans took to Twitter to demand an explanation from 'Cass' for the sudden changes in criteria and alleged unfair calculation of retweets, 'Cass' took down the realtime rankings list and apologized for "server issues".
As of now, the campaign is still running with the same ground rules: 'Cass' will choose the top 5 idols with the most retweets for their fan-made campaigns, and deliberate internal among the top 5 nominees to select the final winner. The top 5 campaign period lasts until April 13.
Netizens' current reactions to the controversy include: "What a fake show... if you look at the realtime tweets there's literally nothing but 'Sehun' and 'Chanyeol'", "Well this was enough to piss off every fan on Twitter", "I have no idea who the model is gonna be but 'R.I.P' in advance...", "If you already have someone in mind then don't pull this dumb 'Twitter Produce' on fans", "Oh since when did the age for minors become 25", "Guess they already had someone they were discussing the contract with, and this isn't going the way they want it to at all", etc.
Furthermore, 'Cass's official Twitter is also under fire after netizens noticed this post below, asking a fan of TXT (TXT members are underage minors) to participate in the model campaign. The Twitter also mistakenly addressed the idol group as "VIXX", angering many fans.